Texas summers are scorchers. The temperature in your attic can exceed 150 degrees, which is why roof vents are so important. Hot, stale air has to be forced out so that your house stays cool. Roof vents are also critical in the winter. A buildup of hot air in your attic melts ice on the roof. Then, the water refreezes and forms ice dams that dislodge your shingles, damage your soffits and block your gutters. Passive roof vents balance the outgoing and incoming air. You should have a Houston roofing company examine your home to make sure you have enough roof vents to do the job.
For every 300 square feet of attic floor space, you need at least 1 square foot of ventilation. In fact, the warranty on your asphalt shingles could be voided if you have insufficient attic ventilation. To avoid a premature Houston roof repair, have a Houston roof replacement company check the roof vents every year for the following problems.
- Debris that is clogging the vent screen, including dirt, dust, leaves, bird nests or spider webs
- Torn screens or damaged flashing
- Rot or rust surrounding the flashing or framing
- Insulation clogging the soffit vent openings
Types of Roof Vents
Ridge vents span the length of your roof. They use an external baffle to generate air flow and to guard your home against rain, snow, dust and leaves. They are hard to notice because they are usually covered with a material that matches the roof.
Passive roof vents do not have moving parts. They are simply protected holes in the roof that encourage air circulation. There are four basic types.
- Roof louver
Gable vents, also called wall louvers, are installed in the attic gables. They are more effective if they are positioned higher on the wall. Since they are under the roof deck, they can cause hot spots.
If you live in an area with constant winds, you might consider a wind turbine. They look like silver mushrooms. They sit on top of the roof and gather wind currents. They use that energy to spin an internal fan that expels the hot air from your attic. You can also get a power-assisted vent if you live in an area that is not very windy.
Intake vents are just as important as the vents that release air. They are installed under the soffit. These vents are made from aluminum or vinyl, and they have tiny slits or holes to let air into your attic. There are two common types. Some have narrow strips that butt together. Others are wider and shorter. They might run parallel or perpendicular to the wall. Either kind of soffit vent works better when combined with a ridge vent.
Ridge vents effectively protect your roof from excess moisture and the Texas heat. Most new homes use ridge vents because they are simple, effective and attractive. With a traditional roof, the air that enters your attic cannot escape. Ridge vents permit the air to travel out through the top of the roof, which helps to stop premature aging of your singles. Ridge vents also prevent a buildup of attic moisture generated by using a washing machine, taking a shower or running a dishwasher. When wind blows past the ridge vent, it pulls the humid air out of the attic and sucks in fresh air through the soffit vents.
Paramount Roofing Inc. can analyze your roof and let you know if your current vents are doing their job. If your attic is not ventilated properly, call us at 713-748-4000 to schedule a no-obligation roof inspection.